NanoCRISPR: An Alternative to Chemotherapy

Presenter: Kristofer Patel

Research Category: Interdisciplinary Topics, Centers and Institutes
Student Type: Undergraduate
PI: Srinivas Sridhar
Award: Research
Award Winner Category: Interdisciplinary Topics

With the increasing costs and timeliness of developing new, novel chemotherapy platforms through R & D pipelines, precedence for paradigm shifting technologies has grown. Since the advent of chemotherapeutic agents, there haven’t been viable solutions to the recurring issues of toxicity and selectivity. Any new output in developing chemotherapy platforms are born at the interface of drug discovery. However, the process of discovering no more then a handful of chemotherapeutic candidates is time consuming and costly. Then the financial burden and timeliness of bringing about novel cancer fighting compounds hinders progress of finding alternatives to chemotherapy. Therefore, a new proposed model for an alternative to chemotherapy is presented here. The advent of oligonucleotide-based therapy brings about a wide variety of genetic tools with robust therapeutic potential. The most recent and promising discovery, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindrome Repeats (CRISPR)- Cas9 technology offers a powerful platform for gene therapy. CRISPR-Cas9 allows one to target specific genes for editing. Using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, we have the ability to target oncogenes that are responsible for progression of cancer. In clinical settings, a delivery platform is needed that allows safe but efficient method of sending this technology to tumors. Therefore, we present NanoCRISPR, a nanoparticle platform, using cationic liposomes, that offers such a delivery platform. NanoCRISPR offers the opportunity to mitigate financial stress as well as timeliness while providing a platform for a multifaceted attack on cancer. Such technology reduces such hindrance of the progress of the oncology community when compared to chemotherapy.